Summer Camp Code-Switching

For 9 years I attended a sleep away camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The camp was composed of mainly Jewish teenagers from the New York- New Jersey area who came from a decently wealthy family. Being at this camp, I often observed a lot of code switching occurring between the campers when it came to talking about money and spending it. Those who did have money, and wanted to spend it, came along with a certain lingo that included only talking about the best brands of clothes, the best restaurants to eat at and the best places to go on vacation. 

At first, campers who were not use to such talk kept quite when conversations of weekends at the Hampton’s or expensive nights out in NYC came up. However, as the summer progressed, I could see the change in those campers that used to keep quite in these conversations. Pretty soon they too were talking about these lavish things too, pretending that they took part in them. Fake annual family trips to Aruba and pretend shopping sprees became the norm for many of their conversations.

I too found myself falling victim to this form of “camp code-switching” at times. Though my family and I did like to vacation and eat out, it was not to the extent that other campers made their experiences out to be. So instead of flying down to Florida for spring break to visit my grandparents, I was now taking a two-week cruise to the Bahamas, or so I said. 

But why did we feel the need to code switch in these situations? Who was to say that the “rich kids” weren’t code switching themselves in hopes of getting our approval? Perhaps we all would have been better off being truthful from the start rather than try and act as someone we were not. 

Looking back, I wish I been more honest from the beginning. I believe I had developed some friendships under false pretenses due to my use of code-switching and given people a false representation of who I really am. And this is the fear of using code switching: when we use it, we often lose who we are and instead become who we think others want us to be.  

Facebook Profile Profile

When I first started on Facebook, the ability to use it was given to me as a “Chanukah” present from my parents. I had been watching my brothers use the social media website for years and wanted so badly to be like them. When I was finally granted access, I added anyone and anything I could to my profile. I was friending people’s dogs accounts, liking potato chip brands pages and getting tagged in pictures of cartoon characters just to bulk up my profile. It was clear that I wanted people to see high friend numbers, high activity and high involvement.

Since then, I have strayed away from such habits on Facebook and focus more on other things. For example, as I made my way through my first couple of weeks of college, I was sure to add new friends I was making on Facebook. Though adding friends on social media is not something I often care about, I feel people like my mom and relatives who are also on social media would feel a sense of relief seeing that I was making friends in college and not spending each night alone on my computer. It could show I have 20 friends on Facebook or it can show I have 10,000; it doesn’t matter. The fact that the people I am becoming friends with also have “Emory University Class of 2018” listed on their profile is what matters. 

When it comes to my photos on facebook, you will not see an album dedicated to well edited “selfies” meant to make me seem artistic and attractive or albums with clever titles like “Stay C14SSY Seniors”. I was never into uploading photos to Facebook, however a viewer will find an album dedicated to my recent trip to Poland and Israel. Having said that, those photos are the first album I have posted in 3 years. Most of the recent photographs people will see of me when they go onto my profile are a few from my time on campus so far but mainly from this summer that others have posted and tagged me in. Since I worked at a day camp, my lime green staff shirt is plastered in most if not all of my last 100 tagged photos. I enjoyed the fact that people will know I work at camp since it is such an important thing to me. 

At the end of the day, there is nothing for me to hide on my profile and no one I refrain from seeing my account. There are not pictures of me chugging bottles of alcohol or wearing just my underwear. I am consious of what I post because I know that not only future employers will see it, but most of my family is also on Facebook. While my profile still has on it that I am a fan of Doritos Cool Ranch or I am friends with my neighbor’s dog Sparky, I believe my profile now shows more of an honest representation of who I am rather than when I first joined the site. 


The Shadow Scholar

Summary #1:

Today, students not willing to do their coursework can really get away with it, but it is going to cost them big time. In the article The Shadow Scholar by Ed Dante, the author discusses a business he created where students can pay him, often large sums of money, to do their course work. There is no limit to the subjects he can and is willing to write about as well as the size of the assignment he is willing to complete. At any given time, Dante can be working on 20 to 40 different assignments, all of which will be turned in and graded as “original” work by any particular student. His customers come from a range of different educational standpoints and backgrounds but he has found that his most common customers are foreigners or rich. Regardless of who is hiring Dante for their own particular reasons, it is clear there is a necessity for his services in the education system today. The only question is, is who is causing this need. 

Summary #2:

Have you ever gotten assigned homework from your teacher and wished someone else could just do it for you? Well there is a man out there named Ed Dante who wrote this newspaper article called The Shadow Scholar all about a business he started to have people pay him to do their homework for them. If you are willing to give him enough money, he will do pretty much any assignment you ask of him. He can write about science, math, english, history and any other subject you can think of. And the crazy part about it is that you will not get caught because your teacher cannot find out! You hand in the homework pretending you wrote it and your teacher will have no idea.


Summary #3: 

Lazy but want an A? Ed Dante does school work 4 $$$!! More info at